'Pathway to Citizenship' Is Bad Approach

If the White House is moving down a “path-to-citizenship” immigration bill, President Bush is leading the Republican Party into a November 2006 election massacre.

In November 2004, a great mass of Red State moral conservatives rose up to defeat John Kerry. The result was that Bush won. Now, as the second term proceeds, the more President Bush seeks out smiling “photo ops” with Senator Teddy Kennedy over immigration, the more those red state conservatives are going to start reaching for the remote to change channels.

Let’s say the “pathway” deal calls for an illegal immigrant to work for six years to get citizenship, or to have been in the country for six years. With a vibrant black market on forged documents flourishing, every Hispanic throughout the U.S will have for you whatever documents you need. Phone bills? No problem. Employment records? Easy. Suddenly, every Hispanic illegal immigrant is going to have been here for six years, even the ones who arrived yesterday.

Then at the end of six years, then what happens? We can almost hear the excuses now: “Oh, I worked most of the time.” “Well, then I was looking for a job.” “You don’t mean I had to have the same job for all six years, do you?” “Well, I’m going to start looking for a job now.” The political Left will argue that all these people “earned citizenship” even if they worked just a few days. Nobody will ever get deported for anything, except maybe for the “show deportations” the Department of Homeland Security will need to make a public relations statement at appropriations time.

Since 1965, every immigration bill we have passed has been long on amnesty and short on enforcement. If the President thinks he can shut out Senators John Cornyn and Jon Kyl to jam another version of the Hagel-Martinez compromise through the Senate, he’s wrong. Even Tony Snow as press secretary will not be able to pull the rabbit out of the hat on a miscalculation this grave. Mr. President, conservatives see “pathways to citizenship” as de facto amnesties. That is the way it is, like it or not.

Senators such as Sam Brownback had better think twice as well. Brownback has gained major points with the moral conservatives at the core of the Republican Party, especially for his strong stands on such important questions as religious freedom and abortion. Unfortunately, Brownback now stands to throw all that good will away by getting wobbly-kneed on sending millions of illegal aliens back home.

Mr. President, there is no job Americans will not do. We are the people who emerged from the Depression to win World War II. Remember? How about Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iran, Iraq plus a dozen more including Somalia and Haiti and Serbia-Croatia-Bosnia? These are jobs that brave and determined American did and are doing right now.

What do you mean that deporting illegal aliens is “just too hard”? Mr. President, nothing is “just too hard” for Americans to do. Fighting the Civil War to preserve the Union was not “just too hard” for President Lincoln to do. Before that, the winter of 1777-78 wasn’t “just too hard” for George Washington to suffer and pray through, as he watched his starving troops being killed by frostbite.

If doing your Constitutional duty to preserve, protect and defend the United States is “just too hard” for you to do, please let us know. Conservatives who watch illegal aliens marching in our streets under Mexican flags wonder if you are asleep at the wheel. Or maybe it’s that Karl Rove is thinking he can get more of those Hispanic votes the next time, if only we can get them all on the “pathway to citizenship.” Pandering is a poor strategy to build a cohesive majority. By pandering to illegal immigrant Hispanics, the Republican Party is going to lose the strong core of conservatives that have been the Party’s strength since Ronald Reagan.

The phrase “pathway to citizenship” is just not going to work for conservatives who see illegal immigration as an invasion from Mexico. Mr. President, conservatives are worried that you are getting too cozy not only with Senator Kennedy, but also with President Fox. Why are you allowing President Fox to dump his impoverished uneducated masses upon the United States? Do you realize, Mr. President, that President Fox arranged for all the millions of illegal Mexican immigrants in the U.S. to vote in Mexico’s 2006 presidential election, if they wanted to?

What we need, Mr. President, is a fence. We have no use for a “pathway to citizenship,” which is nothing more than an amnesty under a different name. If you don’t first build a fence, you are on a “pathway for a Democratic majority in the House,” maybe even in the Senate, in 2008, if not right now.